One family's journey to hear God's calling, overcome our fears, and be obedient to Him!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's a God Thing

For the past few weeks I have been pondering the reality that many of the people that know me, think I have completely lost my mind. No, it's true. You know it, and I know it. I completely understand why anyone would think that way. There are endless reasons to think adopting not just one, but two little girls from Haiti, is just crazy. At the same time, it’s not like I’m building a 450 foot x 75 foot x 3 story high Ark!

As adoptive parents, we become dreadful of comments and questions. I know people don’t intend to be mean, but some comments and questions come across as insensitive and even hurtful. Being new to this adoption stuff, I find myself desiring to stay close to home, or with a few outwardly supportive family and friends. I long for the comfort of not having to be on constant lookout for negative comments or hard questions. Here are just a few examples of questions I’ve heard:

• Why don’t you just donate all the money this adoption will cost to some local charity? Well, that would be very noble and Godly. But that's not what God led me to do.

• How will you ever pay for their college? Honestly, I don't know, but I am not worried about sending them to college right now. Right now I am worried for their safety and well-being. God has not revealed to me the ending to His Story, but I trust Him on that.

• Can you love an adopted child in the same way as your biological children? I love my wife more than anyone on the planet. I love my in-laws, and I assure you we are not biologically connected. Jesula and Redjina are our children. God gave them to us just like He gave us Ashley and Matthew. He planned our family of six, perhaps even before He created the earth.

Let me say, I can usually tell where a person’s heart is when they are asking me questions about our adoption. I can also tell from their demeanor. I know there are also some who have wanted to ask questions and have not known what's appropriate. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I want people to ask questions. But, before you ask a question, ask yourself, "Why do I want to know this?" If you want this information so that you can judge the situation, or to try and convince us not to do this, then you probably should not ask. You might also run the question by God and see what He thinks about the matter. Finally, please understand that sometimes our best response to your question may be, "It’s a God Thing"!

Walking down this path I have learned a lot, and my own perspective on adoption has changed very much. I have learned first-hand that when you are obedient it really agitates the devil. The devil knows that something as Godly as loving orphans can have a huge ripple effect of people glorifying God. The devil will work overtime to create doubt and derail Godly things from happening. I challenge everyone to not let the devil use them as a means to discourage Kingdom work. If you can't be positive, uplifting and encouraging, then by all means just be silent.

Adoption is a calling in life. It is not for everyone. Honestly, foreign adoption is very, very hard. Close your eyes and imagine having a child that you love with all your heart, yet you are only able to talk to them on the phone a few minutes a week, and are only able to see them once every few months. Imagine 24/7 wondering what they are doing and if they are safe. Everyone in life has their own calling. Discerning God’s calling is a matter of really seeking Him, and listening to what He calls you to do. And when He calls, you answer. He has called us to adopt two beautiful girls, Jesula and Redjina from Haiti.

Our family wants to share how God has blessed us through adoption. We think this is a miracle and we want all of our family and friends to be able to experience it too. We love you all. Thank you for loving all Six Cunninghams. Thank you, to all of you who have helped us financially, with clothes and gifts for the girls, through words of encouragement, and through prayer.

Be strong. Take courage. Don't be afraid or terrified by others, because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6


  1. Preston and Shawna,
    I think what you are doing is an awesome God thing. Just reading the things you say reaffirms it. Your comments are so honest and heartfelt. I will keep all of you in my prayers. Sarah and her husband have plans to adopt from Africa and I pray for them as well. I have already anticipated other's reactions. Please let's all get together and go to I Love NY sometime SOON!

  2. i'm getting caught up on your story... this is VERY well said.